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How to Find Out if the Seller Qualifies for a Sacramento Short Sale - 01/31/10 08:38 AM
Before I show homes in Land Park or anywhere in Sacramento, I contact the listing agent to find out more information about the home. That's because I treat each visit as though this is the home my buyer will purchase. I figure why would I show a home to a buyer that won't work for some reason? Just because a home is offered for sale in MLS doesn't mean it's available or that it fits my buyers' agenda. Sometimes listing agents don't respond to emails, text messages or phone calls, and I often do all three. Most likely the unresponsiveness is (10 comments)
Home Buyers With Unrealistic Expectations Are Not Buying a Home in Sacramento - 01/30/10 09:15 AM
Not every potential home buyer will buy a home in Sacramento this year, regardless of how much a buyer may yearn for a home. How do I know this? Because I speak with first-time home buyers who want to buy a home nearly every day. I listen to their wants and needs. From this information, I determine whether these buyers are realistic and motivated. See, a buyer can possess all the motivation and determination in the world, but if a buyer is stuck in fantasy land, the odds of buying a home are dramatically reduced. I try to be non-judgmental. I (13 comments)
Do You Really Want to Buy That East Sacramento Short Sale? - 01/29/10 08:56 AM
While I was researching short sales in Sacramento for a client this morning, I noticed my MLS profile needed an update. So, I clicked on it to make the change. At the very bottom is a place for additional languages. I typed in Klingon. Well, I don't really know any Klingon words, so I erased it and typed Pig Latin. Hit the Save button. Apparently, Pig Latin is not a recognized language because MLS would not let me save it. Those MLS programmers, always looking out for practical jokers, I guess. The listing my client asked about is a short sale (10 comments)
President Obama Turns to Facebook - 01/28/10 08:47 AM
I'm one of those rare people who still subscribe to the morning newspaper. In my case, it's the Sacramento Bee. I pick up the paper from my front porch every morning, shake off the icky bugs and toss the paper on the breakfast table. Today's headline was obscured due to the way the paper was rolled. Out of the corner of my eye, I read President Obama Turns to Facebook. My immediate reaction to this startling news was: Who gives a crap? But then I realized how absurd. Of course, the headline actually read: President Obama Turns to The Pocketbook. But (16 comments)
Here is a Prairie Oaks Short Sale in Folsom - 01/27/10 08:44 AM
As I was driving to Folsom yesterday to meet with yet another charming couple who need to do a short sale, a potential short sale seller from Elk Grove called me. She was interviewing Sacramento short sale agents and had already spoken to an different agent at another company. In her words, this company was "very aggressive." She asked how I separate myself from the competition. Well, to start with, my clients are not just a number on a file. Some short sale agents put together a huge team and hire a bunch of assistants to negotiate and take listings for (6 comments)
Banks May Demand Seller Contributions to Approve Sacramento Short Sales - 01/26/10 09:03 AM
Among the many twists and turns a short sale can take during its relatively incessant and torturous life is the often anomalous ending. It ain't over until the fat lady sings. Trying to second-guess the bank's investor guidelines is a crap shoot, but I try to prepare my Sacramento short sale sellers for the unexpected that could materialize upon approval. I'm finding that second lenders are demanding more of the net proceeds. They don't care who pays them -- the seller, the buyer, the agents. I suppose some figure that their position was 20% of the equation in the first place. (9 comments)
Here Was a Sharp Starter Home Offered as a Short Sale in Foulks Ranch in Elk Grove - 01/25/10 07:45 AM
The President of the Sacramento Board of REALTORS personally called me last Friday to ask if I would list a short sale in Elk Grove. The seller had called the Board, asking for a recommendation to a Sacramento short sale agent. Often, when an agent calls to ask if I will work with a client, that agent expects a referral fee. I don't pay referral fees on my short sales because then I'd make even less than the 25 cents I already earn. However, the President assured me a referral fee was unnecessary because the client's needs come first. I was (6 comments)
My Parakeets and Cockatiels Have Found a New Home At Capitol City Bird Society - 01/24/10 08:15 AM
Transporting the birds from Minneapolis to Sacramento was not an easy task. The plan in the spring of 2002 was my husband would drive to Sacramento and get an apartment, while I stayed behind to sell the house. He had to immediately start a job as managing editor of the Sacramento Business Journal, a job he lost due to management changes in 2008. (He's still unemployed.) As my husband was packing to drive across country, it dawned on me that he could take the parakeet with him. An idea he firmly resisted. It made sense because I knew I would fly (16 comments)
How to Increase the Odds That a Buyer's Sacramento Short Sale Will Close - 01/23/10 08:58 AM
If a buyer for homes in Land Park asks me to show a short sale listing, I do investigative work before putting that home on tour. There's just no sense in letting a buyer fall in love with a home that might not close escrow. See, the problem with short sales in Sacramento is the entire short sale process is dependent upon the listing agent. The buyer's agent has no involvement after the offer has been accepted by the seller. I check to see if the Sacramento short sale agent has other listings and whether any of those are short sales. (12 comments)
How Elizabeth Weintraub Shows Homes in Land Park and the Sacramento Core - 01/22/10 09:06 AM
I'm often amazed when I receive an out-of-the-blue offer for a listing, meaning the buyer's agent has not made prior contact with me. It's sort of like they figure that buying a home in Sacramento is on par with flipping through a Macy's catalog. Photographs and the sales price of a home tell only part of the story. There is always a story. This weekend, I'm showing homes in Land Park, Midtown, East Sacramento and Carmichael to several sets of home buyers. I work with buyers based on the homes that they want to see and the homes that I think (13 comments)
The Worst Thing That Could Happen to a Real Estate Agent - 01/21/10 09:01 AM
What's the worst thing that could happen to an East Sacramento agent? Or to any real estate agent, for that matter? Well, apart from rolling over a guard rail in the rain. Over the last week, 2 vehicles at different locations slid off the freeway while going around a curve and landed on the road below. They survived, thank goodness. We've had so much rain and wind in Sacramento; it's like an obstacle course driving through East Sacramento and Land Park -- swerving to avoid downed tree branches, blown over trash cans and unemployed real estate agents angrily stomping in rain (19 comments)
If It Rains On Your Parade, Then Parade in the Rain - 01/20/10 08:50 AM
A seller called me a saint yesterday. She could not understand why I was hanging in there for her and trying to close her short sale after everything that has happened. Her Sacramento short sale is a double Countrywide -- meaning it has 2 loans that originated with Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America. Bank of America short sales can be a nightmare or a blessing. We initially sold her Sacramento home to a buyer who walked away at short sale approval. After 5 months. So, we put the home back on the market and sold it to (14 comments)
Another Bank of America Short Sale in Elk Grove is Pending After 6 Months - 01/19/10 09:15 AM
After trudging around in the rain yesterday from 9 AM to 6 PM showing property, it was a welcome relief to come home and change into dry shoes. Note to self: wear boots in this weather! Our Sacramento storms have not let up, and tomorrow is expected to be worse than today. But the good news is one of my buyers wrote an offer last night, I received an acceptable cash offer on another Sacramento short sale, and one of my Bank of America short sales in Elk Grove received approval. The incredibly patient buyers for this Elk Grove short sale (5 comments)
Representing More Than One Buyer for the Same Home is a Lousy Idea - 01/18/10 08:52 AM
Because today is a holiday for most people, I booked back-to-back appointments this morning to show homes in Land Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Which means my email in-box and voice mail will most likely be full by the time I return to my home office. If I never stepped foot out of my office, I'd always be caught up but, unfortunately, that's not how the world of real estate works. I generally don't answer my phone nor reply to emails when I'm with clients. I try to focus on them. As I began putting together the tours for these buyers, (12 comments)
Starter Home in Natomas Offered as a Short Sale at $175,000 - 01/17/10 08:59 AM
I don't know about you, but I've seen some Sacramento short sales offered at $175,000 in areas and conditions you wouldn't want your dog to live in. This Natomas short sale, on the other hand, is located in the delightful community of Creekside Village, and it's in great shape. Built in 2003 by KB Homes, it has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. One of those bedrooms is located at the front of the home, near the entry, making it a perfect room for a home office. The sellers upgraded some of the hardware, put in ceiling fans and installed over-sized travertine (9 comments)
News Flash: FHA Lifts 90-Day Flipping Rule for Home Buyers - 01/16/10 10:00 AM
FHA has temporarily lifted the 90-day flipping rule for home buyers. This new guideline goes into effect on February 1, 2010 and is good for one year. Certain criteria apply. For investors selling homes more than 20% above the investor's original sales price, FHA will want to see either proof of work completed that substantially raises the value or an appraiser's explanation as to why the value is much higher than the original price paid at auction. It also appears that FHA may require the buyer to pay for a home inspection ordered by the lender. This sounds as though if (15 comments)
Don't Jeopardize the Home Buyer Credit When Buying a Short Sale - 01/16/10 08:24 AM
OK, I admit it. I'm one of those obnoxiously organized people you read about. I have systems for everything because it keeps me efficient. I'm also rarely late for a meeting. If I make an appointment with another person -- doesn't matter who it is, a buyer for homes in Land Park, a Sacramento short sale seller, the pest inspection guy or my hairdresser -- I'll show up 5 minutes early. That's because I plan ahead. Always looking into the future. Sometimes, I go so far as to look up the time distance between my origination and destination on Google Maps, (7 comments)
Whose Listing Is It, Anyway? - 01/15/10 09:07 AM
It's hard, at times, to tell if a person is joking around or not when you receive an email. I am not a big of fan of smiley faces, but against my better judgment, I can be guilty of slipping them into emails. That's because not everybody appreciates my wry sense of humor. And sometimes I'm so busy that I literally don't have time to make sure my parenthesis is facing the right way. It's easy to type a frowny face by mistake. I'm so happy that you sent me a photo of your new baby; she's adorable. Frowny face. (14 comments)
Should Short Sale Sellers Continue to Show Homes After Offer Acceptance? - 01/14/10 08:50 AM
One of the million-dollar questions that I receive from Sacramento short sale sellers is when should they stop showing their homes. The answer to that question depends on the individual short sale, they are each unique, but typically the answer is when the seller has accepted an offer. However, it also depends on the type of offer the seller has agreed to accept. See, the thing is when a short sale goes into active contingent status, it's basically no different than a pending sale status on a regular transaction. The implied difference between a regular pending transaction and an active contingent (10 comments)
This Land Park Short Sale Has All the Bells and Whistles at a Price of $450,000 - 01/13/10 08:10 AM
When I drive buyers around to show homes in Land Park, I sometimes point out the homes on Vallejo Way, between Land Park Drive and 14th Street, which I listed and sold. I tell buyers how I sold that entire block on the north side of Vallejo Way. Which is true. But I also quickly point out that there are only 2 homes on that block. That's always good for a chuckle. Now I have a new short sale listing in Land Park on Vallejo Way. It's a breathtakingly beautiful home, boasting more than 2,000 square feet, built in 1937, with (3 comments)
The Look in Their Eyes Tells Me They Think I Have Gone Off the Deep End - 01/12/10 09:13 AM
I've been pretty busy lately listing short sales throughout Sacramento and in Land Park. In fact, I just listed another short sale home in Land Park last night. This is a home that had previously been on the market for a long time, listed with several other real estate agents at prices that buyers for homes in Land Park would not accept. Since this weekend, I've taken 3 new short sale listings, which I will negotiate for those sellers personally. At all my appointments lately, after I explain how the complete short sale process works, I've noticed the same thing happening, (10 comments)
This Serrano Short Sale in El Dorado Hills is Offered at $350,000 - 01/11/10 08:46 AM
I have to tell you that there is a dead spot for cellphone reception on Serrano Parkway. And sometimes, you'll get a little winter fog in the hills in early morning. As I drove up to my new short sale listing in El Dorado Hills yesterday, fog hugged the trees and homes, but the valley was completely clear. It reminded me of a French village in Provence. This short sale is a Warmington home that was a former model home. Buying a model home from a builder means that generally you get all the extra upgrades, because builders decorate and accessorize (6 comments)
Do You Do Things Because You've Always Done Them or Because You Want To? - 01/10/10 09:02 AM
Some people would say that when a person looks back on the path one's life has taken and decides to make changes, it's because one has reached a "certain age." Personally, I disagree, probably because I'm the type of person who often reflects on the direction I am moving and wonders if that direction is the road best taken. For example, those reflections are the reason I ended up in Sacramento. But I am also a creature of habit. I suspect to some extent we all are. You may head to Starbucks each morning to get a latte. Because that's what (20 comments)
My Hardwood Floors Finally Have the Final Top Coat - 01/09/10 08:07 AM
It seems like forever since we've sealed off the dining room and living room from the rest of our house. The pass-through window between the kitchen and living room has a sheet of plastic taped over it, and the other 3 doors are closed, much to the dismay of our cats. You know how cats are, right? Always sticking their little paws under the door and pulling. A shut door to a cat is a slap in the face. I dropped off 8 sets of drapes at the dry cleaners yesterday, which will be ready to pick up in a week, (15 comments)
Here is What Can Go Wrong with a Sacramento Short Sale - 01/08/10 09:27 AM
A few days ago, an out-of-state seller emailed me to say the seller's Sacramento short sale listing had expired, but the seller was still in contract with a buyer. For 6 months. The seller said the reason this particular short sale did not close is because a negotiator had not yet been assigned by the bank until the seller called the bank. I asked why. Allegedly, the listing agent told that seller that it was too time consuming to sit on the phone with the bank, and the agent didn't have time to do it. Moreover, the agent supposedly said that (10 comments)
If You're Looking for a Short Sale Home In Lincoln, Here is a Rare Find - 01/07/10 08:51 AM
I love it when I turn on my computer in the morning and find a short sale approval letter sitting in my inbox. Sort of sets the mood for the day. And even though I get up at 5 AM most mornings, those banks on the East Coast are still ahead of me. The approval letter I received this morning is for a short sale in West Sacramento. Here is a short sale in Lincoln, California. It's a KB home in Lincoln Crossing. Except for the home to its immediate left, every other home on the street appears to be a (5 comments)
Breaking News: Schwarzenneger Champions New California Home Buyer Tax Credit - 01/06/10 07:38 PM
During Gov. Schwarzenneger's State of the State address at the state Capitol today, the governor announced a new proposal for another home buyer tax credit of $10,000. It was received by a big round of applause. Of course, you don't hear that applause when you skim through the goofy comments left by readers of the Sacramento Bee. Jim Wasserman reports that the tax credit proposal, if passed, will apply to buyers of new and existing homes, and it's in addition to the $8,000 federal first-time home buyer tax credit that expires on April 30, 2009. The new proposed tax credit could (12 comments)
A Neutral Color is the Color of Choice When Preparing a Home for Sale - 01/06/10 09:17 AM
I receive a lot of interesting emails from readers all over the country. I do my best to answer questions. Many of those questions center on short sales, probably because I write a lot about short sales and enjoy a strong internet presence as a Sacramento short sale agent. But since selling short sales takes up only about half of my annual real estate sales, I also field questions on other activities such as selling homes in Land Park and throughout Sacramento that are not short sales. A reader from my About.com homebuying site wrote yesterday. She was clear that she (14 comments)
Two Coats of Sealer Have Been Applied to My Hardwood Floors in Land Park - 01/05/10 09:54 AM
The floor refinisher, Brian, and I engaged in a conversation yesterday about the tack cloth. He didn't know what I referring to because it's not something, I suppose, that he uses. My concern was removing every bit of dust from the floor before Brian put on the first coat. Brian is very patient with me because he's such a patient guy overall. Patience is one of the virtues that makes Brian an excellent floor refinisher. He explained that over his 9 years of refinishing floors, he's tried all sorts of methods and products and has settled on those that he feels (17 comments)
Don't Rush to Put Your Home on the Market in Land Park - 01/04/10 10:08 AM
The year of 2010 is starting out very busy. I thought this weekend would be fairly quiet, but I guess as people sat around watching football or perhaps recovering from New Year's Eve activities, they started to think about buying and selling real estate in Sacramento. That's because I received a ton of phone calls: Should I list my Sacramento short sale now? Can I afford to buy a home before the first-time home buyer tax credit expires? When is a good time to put homes in Land Park on the market? Should I fix up my home or sell as (10 comments)
The Mobile ScanSnap is My New Favorite Tech Tool and a Fantastic Time Saver - 01/03/10 09:57 AM
I am always looking for ways to be more efficient and to work smarter. In C.A.R.'s year-end newsletter, it named the top 10 new tech tools for real estate professionals, and the ScanSnap S 300 made the list. At first, it sort of bugged me that I'd have to pay more to buy a mobile scanner that would work with my Mac Pro, but then, duh, it dawned on me that my Sony PC laptop is the computer I work with in the field. And a ScanSnap that works with Windows costs less. At the beginning of 2009, my company was (13 comments)
Refinishing Hardwood Floors in Land Park is Not a Two-Day Job - 01/02/10 10:00 AM
Like many homes in Land Park, my home has red oak hardwood flooring, with a border around the perimeter. The thing that makes my floors a little bit different than others with hardwood in Land Park is that the individual boards are not face nailed; they are nailed through the tongue and groove. So, none of the nail heads show. While it makes for a more attractive appearance, it does make it a little bit more difficult to patch a spot where some careless doofus (namely me) over-watered a plant. Below is a photo of the difference in appearance between the (18 comments)
Fannie Mae Pushes Short Sale Sellers into Default, Gets Bonus Pay and Bailout Relief - 01/01/10 09:33 AM
I received a phone call from a short sale seller in Michigan yesterday. He found me through an Active Rain blog about Fannie Mae short sales, and how Fannie Mae is insisting that my Sacramento short sale sellers who are current on their payments go into default before Fannie Mae will approve a short sale. The caller said his short sale was denied by Fannie Mae because he was current. To qualify for the short sale, he was instructed to stop making his mortgage payments and go into foreclosure. The seller was devastated. Don't blame him for being angry. This is (18 comments)
Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate, midtown Sacramento. Selling since 1974. Home Buying Guide at About.com. Sacramento short sale agent.
Author Bio: Elizabeth Weintraub is a Sacramento real estate broker, author, home buying guide for About.com, a Land Park resident, and a Land Park agent who specializes in older, classic homes in Land Park, Curtis Park, Midtown and East Sacramento. Weintraub is also a Sacramento Short Sale agent who lists and successfully closes short sales throughout Sacramento four-county area. Call Elizabeth Weintraub at 916.233.6759. Put 35 years of real estate experience to work for you.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.